Much of our pop culture centers around fighting aliens. They invade, we fight back, they get killed by glasses of water left out (or Randy Quaid). It was all fiction in the past, but now, NASA wants alien hunters to apply to work for them. And they’re offering a six-figure salary. One catch: you’d better be more handy with bleach than a mind-erasing ray.
NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer is, essentially, the cleanliest person at NASA. You see, most alien life, we’ve predicted, may exist is microorganisms — and nobody has any idea what alien bacteria might do to humans. Rather than find out, it’ll be the Planetary Protection Officer’s job to ensure we don’t bring back alien flu from outer space (although that would be a really great title for a movie).
From the job posting, which is open until August 14:
Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration. NASA maintains policies for planetary protection applicable to all space flight missions that may intentionally or unintentionally carry Earth organisms and organic constituents to the planets or other solar system bodies, and any mission employing spacecraft, which are intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration.
Yes, you will defend Earth not with rayguns, but Clorox wipes, although a flamethrower would also work! Hey, fire sterlizes. And to be fair, cleanliness has its rewards beyond its supposed proximity to godliness: This job pays a minimum of $124,000 and up to $186,0000, and you’ll have it for at least three years. Not bad work, if you’re a fan of cleaning chemicals and their application to surfaces. Of course, you also need to have extensive knowledge of physics, engineering and math, so, um, maybe brush up on your algebra before you apply.